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Downtown restaurateur Gerald Rodriguez dies

From Staff Reports
May 15, 2017 at 10 p.m.
Updated May 16, 2017 at 1:02 a.m.

Gerald Rodriguez

Longtime Longview restaurateur Gerald Rodriguez died Monday night, hours after being removed from life support after a May 7 heart attack, his brother confirmed.

He was 54.

"They removed everything at 7:19 (p.m.), he fought for an hour and 20 minutes," Carlos Rodriguez said. "He slowly went down, finally his heart stopped."

Gerald Rodriguez, owner of Tyler Street Bistro and Gerald's Social Club, adjacent and well-frequented downtown destinations, had been listed in critical condition at Christus Good Shepherd Medical Center since the heart attack, which was blamed on complications from a blood clot.

Accounts on social media in ensuing days, including a "Just for Gerald" page that sprouted on Facebook with the aim of keeping friends and fans apprised of developments with his condition, noted brain test results over the weekend showing hoped-for signs were not present.

The Rodriguez family has deep roots in the Longview restaurant business.

In the 1980s, the family owned Monaco's, a hot spot in downtown Longview. Gerald Rodriguez worked with his brother Carlos at Carlito's when it was located in the former Johnny Cace's building downtown. Carlito's now does business on Judson Road.

Gerald Rodriguez christened his namesake downtown bistro in 2000, and the social club, a popular martini bar, a few years later. He also has conducted a thriving catering business and operated a hall for meetings and other gatherings in a space between the two Tyler Street storefronts.

The club and restaurant, which closed last week and remained so as of Monday, are easily downtown's longest continuously serving establishments.

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